Martinrea to close Ontario plant in wake of GM cuts, report says

The Cadillac XTS is assembled in Oshawa, Ont., and Martinrea supplies parts for the car. Photo credit: GM CANADA

Canadian auto supplier Martinrea International Inc. says it plans to close a factory that makes parts for the General Motors’ Oshawa Assembly Plant slated for closure at the end of 2019, according to The Globe and Mail.

Oshawa was one of three North American assembly plants to which GM said it would stop allocating product in 2019. It is part of a broader shift in its global product strategy. GM is ending production of several cars, including the Impala and XTS, and it plans to stop building the previous-generation Silverado and Sierra pickups in 2019. All the vehicles are assembled in Oshawa.

Martinrea’s factory in nearby Ajax, Ont., supplies the Oshawa plant with parts for the Cadillac XTS and the Chevrolet Impala, including suspension modules and engine cradles, according to The Globe and Mail.

“Those assemblies will not be needed if there’s no product being made in Oshawa,” Martinrea Executive Chairman and co-founder Rob Wildeboer told the newspaper.

GM’s Oshawa plant buys about C$3 billion a year in auto parts and tools from Canadian suppliers, which in turn supports about 10,000 jobs, Automotive Manufacturers’ Association President Flavio Volpe estimates. That represents about 10 percent of Canada’s auto parts industry.

But, supplier Linamar, which is based in Guelph, Ont., said the Oshawa closure will have little impact on its operations.

“We expect to see minimal to no impact to Linamar regarding GM’s announcement … of the closure of some of their assembly facilities including the Oshawa plant,” Linamar CEO Linda Hasenfratz said in an emailed statement to GuelphToday.

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